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Poobah 11-27-2012 04:57 PM

Tennis Bag Recommendations?
 
Hi all - My current tennis bag has held up for about 7 years now but it's on it's last legs and I'm looking to buy a new one. I'm looking for a high quality and durable bag - I'm not too worried about price. I'd like for it to have plenty of compartments/pockets/drink holders/organizers and some of the climate control technology / thermal compartment padding for when I leave the bag in the car on hot days...and protection from banging around against things. I like organization...so pockets and stuff are important.

I think I like a fairly big bag....for some reason, I like to carry a lot of junk around with me! (Usually 2-3 racquets, a can or two of new balls, maybe 10-20 recently used balls, 3 fairly large water bottles (I use those stainless steel ones with the screw top), a big tennis towel or two and a Frogg-Togg chill towel, lots of wrist / head sweatbands, an extra shirt, 2-3 hats, grip tape, Kindle e-reader, wallet, phone, watch, sunglasses, FogTech anti-fog stuff for the shades, keys, sunscreen (that I never put on but it makes my girl happy that I carry it...), ferry schedule/phone list, coins, a few Power Bars / 5 Hour Energy Drinks, and various tennis knick-knacks (dampeners, etc)! Ideally, I'd like a separate pocket or area to put my wet wrist/head bands, hat, and towel into after I play...that is lined or something to keep the moisture from transferring to other areas...and maybe ventilated (mesh?).

I've spent a lot of time searching through the various threads on tennis bags, and I realize there is a lot of personal preference involved...but I'd like some help narrowing it down. I haven't seen that one bag that looks perfect for my requirements... I can't get over to a tennis shop with a decent selection to check them out in the next couple of weeks, and Santa is asking for my list now now now! Those elves can be so dang pushy sometimes...

I could care less if the bag matches my racquet(s) - which are not the same brand anyway - other than to ensure that my largest one will fit into whatever bag I end up getting (Prince O3 Speedport Black). A friend told me he recently bought a really nice Volkl bag and got home and his racquet didn't fit! The sad thing is that he actually uses a Volkl racquet... I keep reading articles and watching video reviews about tennis bags where the authors constantly make the point that you absolutely should have your bag match your equipment...you don't want to have a brand X bag and pull out a brand Y racquet. Seems to be a big deal to everyone. Huh? Who gives a rat's ass? What does that have to do with anything unless you are a sponsored pro? If you make the best bag for my requirements, I could care less if it has anything to do with my racquet brand. If Hello Kitty made the best tennis bag, then I'd be sporting Hello Kitty to the courts all day long! :cool:

I prefer function over form any day...and while I'd like it to look good, as long as it isn't hot pink or something, if it meets my needs well above other bags, color and looks aren't a deciding factor. I don't put shoes in my tennis bag. I do like the backpack strap option, but that isn't a deal breaker either as long as it has a good handle and shoulder strap. I'm a fairly big guy and don't mind lugging my junk around.

In any case, after much scouring of the internet, these bags look like they might possibly fit my needs:

1. Babolat Aero Line 9 or 12 (I'm leaning toward this right now...probably the 12 for the two lined compartments).
2. Prince Carbon 6 (might be too small but I REALLY like the drink holders in the thermal compartment (good for bottles, tennis ball cans, sodas...they should have these in every bag!) and I don't see a larger option?)
3. Prince Rebel 12 (I kind of don't like that the mesh drink holders are in the only thermal lined compartment, which is where I'd want to put my racquets...and I don't think the moisture sweating off of the bottles should be in there...plus, you would also have the racquets banging against the steel drinks holders...).
4. Wilson Tour 9 (My last bag was a Wilson U.S. Open from years ago...and while it lasted a long time, it definitely shredded and tore inside...so I am a bit hesitant to go Wilson again).

Other recommendations?

Also - when do the tennis companies usually introduce their new product lines - specifically bags? Do they do it before Christmas or would it be sometime in 2013? I need to know if I should hold off a month or two to see what might be coming and keep it off of my list for Santa! I want to get it right the first time and be good for another ten years before I look for a new one...

Wow - this was long...I know I'm not known for brevity, but I didn't mean to write a novel...! :shock: Your thoughts are appreciated - thank you in advance!

Francis27 11-27-2012 05:12 PM

I love the Babolat Aero bags! very roomy but a lil too expensive

Andyroo10567 11-27-2012 06:15 PM

12 Pack is $64.95 at TW. To me that's a GREAT buy. I would recommend that bag. But the silver lining rips off easily. Its like a sheet of plastic.

Chotobaka 11-27-2012 06:44 PM

Also check out these two: Pacific Basalt-X Thermal 2XL and Tecnifibre VO2 Max 12 pack. Both are excellent bags. I used and abused the TF for years -- it also has the best assortment of really usable compartments of any bag I have used.

loosegroove 11-27-2012 08:25 PM

Why not the Prince Tour Team 12 pack? Almost the entire bag is thermal lined. And I like that the middle section of the bag is broken up into two compartments, one of which is thermal lined and great for storing beverages.

Poobah 11-28-2012 09:17 AM

Thanks for the responses - keep 'em coming! As I said, price is not a priority over function for me. I had not heard that the lining in the Aero bags is suspect...that makes me pause...

I'm checking out those other bags - the Prince Tour Team 12 is definitely at or near the top of my list now - thanks for that suggestion, loosegroove! Not sure how I missed seeing it before.

Chotoboka - Thanks for the suggestions. TW doesn't seem to carry the TF VO2 M12 anymore but I was able to manipulate the weblinks from the M9 to bring it up anyway and check it out. Looks pretty good - no climate/thermal lining though - but I like the organization. The Pacific Basalt-X Pro Thermal 2XL Bag looks pretty sweet and could meet my needs as well... I had looked at the Pacific Basalt ones previously and discounted them because they looked like duffel bags with one big compartment...I somehow missed the thermal one... This definitely makes the list.

The list is growing...any other bags I should consider or insights into the ones already mentioned based on your experiences before I start narrowing it down and making a choice?

Thank you all again for helping!

Chotobaka 11-28-2012 10:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Poobah (Post 7036339)
Thanks for the responses - keep 'em coming! As I said, price is not a priority over function for me. I had not heard that the lining in the Aero bags is suspect...that makes me pause...

I'm checking out those other bags - the Prince Tour Team 12 is definitely at or near the top of my list now - thanks for that suggestion, loosegroove! Not sure how I missed seeing it before.

Chotoboka - Thanks for the suggestions. TW doesn't seem to carry the TF VO2 M12 anymore but I was able to manipulate the weblinks from the M9 to bring it up anyway and check it out. Looks pretty good - no climate/thermal lining though - but I like the organization. The Pacific Basalt-X Pro Thermal 2XL Bag looks pretty sweet and could meet my needs as well... I had looked at the Pacific Basalt ones previously and discounted them because they looked like duffel bags with one big compartment...I somehow missed the thermal one... This definitely makes the list.

The list is growing...any other bags I should consider or insights into the ones already mentioned based on your experiences before I start narrowing it down and making a choice?

Thank you all again for helping!

The VO2 12 Pack is cavernous and has two features that are best of breed: (1) the backpack system is simply better than anything else out there; (2) the completely separate wet/shoe area is unique and also better than anything else available. Lack of thermal has never been a problem with years of use in SoCal, Japan and SE Asian summers. I regularly carry racquets strung with natural gut.

The Pacific holds its shape really well. Really, really well. And, both racquet compartments are thermal. Thermal is extremely high quality in terms of both material and manufacturing. Shoulder straps are pretty much just OK -- nothing special -- just normal. Not like the TF's. Grab handle system is robust. Although this is tagged as XXL, think super six pack. Having switched from TF to Fisher and Pacific racquets (due to injury) I have no gripes about using this bag once I dialed in my own way of packing it. However, I would have never left TF if it weren't for the equipment change.

Another one to consider is the Tecnifibre Stand Bag. I also have this one and, while it doesn't have the capacity of the VO2 Max, it is a great bag. Even better compartmentalization, great backpack system and great overall cool quotient.

Too bad there isn't a demo program for bags :-)

Poobah 12-01-2012 10:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chotobaka (Post 7037471)
The VO2 12 Pack is cavernous and has two features that are best of breed: (1) the backpack system is simply better than anything else out there; (2) the completely separate wet/shoe area is unique and also better than anything else available. Lack of thermal has never been a problem with years of use in SoCal, Japan and SE Asian summers. I regularly carry racquets strung with natural gut.

The Pacific holds its shape really well. Really, really well. And, both racquet compartments are thermal. Thermal is extremely high quality in terms of both material and manufacturing. Shoulder straps are pretty much just OK -- nothing special -- just normal. Not like the TF's. Grab handle system is robust. Although this is tagged as XXL, think super six pack. Having switched from TF to Fisher and Pacific racquets (due to injury) I have no gripes about using this bag once I dialed in my own way of packing it. However, I would have never left TF if it weren't for the equipment change.

Another one to consider is the Tecnifibre Stand Bag. I also have this one and, while it doesn't have the capacity of the VO2 Max, it is a great bag. Even better compartmentalization, great backpack system and great overall cool quotient.

Too bad there isn't a demo program for bags :-)

Thank you for the further insights, Chotobaka - extremely helpful - I really appreciate it. I'll have to look up the Tecnifibre Stand Bag as well. If anyone else has any other insights or thoughts to add - I'm still watching this thread for inputs!

rafafan20 12-01-2012 12:11 PM

Babolat makes the best bags, Dunlop makes a good bag as well.

Andyroo10567 12-01-2012 12:15 PM

Errr..... I personally don't agree with that last comment. During the time i had a Babolat Aeroline bag, the silver lining was torn apart practically after normal use. it felt like a candy wrapper. The outer bag seemed to hold up well but the yellow looked disgusting. The Team line were ok. They held up fine. I haven't tried this bag but i think the Solinco Mega 12 pack bag looks pretty nice. Technifibre makes great bags and so do Head. If wilson straps were on top, i would like those much better.

Say Chi Sin Lo 12-01-2012 12:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Andyroo10567 (Post 7041626)
Errr..... I personally don't agree with that last comment. During the time i had a Babolat Aeroline bag, the silver lining was torn apart practically after normal use. it felt like a candy wrapper. The outer bag seemed to hold up well but the yellow looked disgusting. The Team line were ok. They held up fine. I haven't tried this bag but i think the Solinco Mega 12 pack bag looks pretty nice. Technifibre makes great bags and so do Head. If wilson straps were on top, i would like those much better.

Same here. I have the Babolot Aero 12pack. Yes, it has nice features, with its dual insulated compartments, hard shell, and a portable cooler for your drinks. BUT, if you want to talk about quality, it's not that great. Within 3 months of using, one of the insulated lining ripped from the racquet handles rubbing it. And you know why the handles were rubbing the lining? Because this is a small 12pack!

I don't know what Babolat was measuring with this bag, but it's not a legit 12pack. Because fitting 4 racquets is a stretch and you will definitely tear the lining (I tore mine with just 3 racquets in the compartment, so there) over time. The zippers are not that great. And it's not a bag if you want things to be organized. As in, there are no smaller pockets. It's just 4 big pockets.

I have a Wilson kFactor 6pack and that thing is indestructible. Not to mention, its compartments are sturdy and enormous. There's no reason a "6pack" can easily fit 5 racquets in each compartments, whereas a "12pack" can barely hold 4 racquets in each compartments.

Andyroo10567 12-01-2012 12:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Say Chi Sin Lo (Post 7041653)
Same here. I have the Babolot Aero 12pack. Yes, it has nice features, with its dual insulated compartments, hard shell, and a portable cooler for your drinks. BUT, if you want to talk about quality, it's not that great. Within 3 months of using, one of the insulated lining ripped from the racquet handles rubbing it. And you know why the handles were rubbing the lining? Because this is a small 12pack!

I don't know what Babolat was measuring with this bag, but it's not a legit 12pack. Because fitting 4 racquets is a stretch and you will definitely tear the lining (I tore mine with just 3 racquets in the compartment, so there) over time. The zippers are not that great. And it's not a bag if you want things to be organized. As in, there are no smaller pockets. It's just 4 big pockets.

I have a Wilson kFactor 6pack and that thing is indestructible. Not to mention, its compartments are sturdy and enormous. There's no reason a "6pack" can easily fit 5 racquets in each compartments, whereas a "12pack" can barely hold 4 racquets in each compartments.

GREAT! It's not just me here! You should take this into thought OP!

rafafan20 12-01-2012 12:47 PM

I have a babolat 6 pack aero bag. I've never tried to fit 6 rackets it would probably be pretty tight, but its very sturdy and high quality. The straps are very comfortable is well and its great for traveling in my opinion.

Say Chi Sin Lo 12-01-2012 12:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rafafan20 (Post 7041671)
I have a babolat 6 pack aero bag. I've never tried to fit 6 rackets it would probably be pretty tight, but its very sturdy and high quality. The straps are very comfortable is well and its great for traveling in my opinion.

Then don't advertise it as a 6pack if fitting 6 racquets will be a stretch and cause definite damage to the bag.

Chotobaka 12-01-2012 01:04 PM

It's a nitpick, but with almost all of these bags the ability to accommodate the actual maximum number of racquets claimed means not using the center/main compartment for anything other than racquets. Maybe Pacific is on to something with their general bag size descriptions (i.e. XL, 2XL).

rafafan20 12-01-2012 01:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Say Chi Sin Lo (Post 7041672)
Then don't advertise it as a 6pack if fitting 6 racquets will be a stretch and cause definite damage to the bag.

I've never put 6 rackets in it so I don't know, it just looks smaller than my previous 6 pack bag.

db10s 12-01-2012 03:35 PM

My Dunlop 10 pack can fit 13. But thats with nothing else in it.

Say Chi Sin Lo 12-01-2012 05:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by db10s (Post 7041873)
My Dunlop 10 pack can fit 13. But thats with nothing else in it.

My Aero 12 pack can barely fit 10, and that's with nothing in it.

niremetal 12-01-2012 08:14 PM

Adidas Barricade seems like its made of Mithril. I've stuffed 8-9 thin-beamed racquets into the six-pack along with 3-4 cans of balls, no problem.

Dberger820 12-26-2012 10:26 AM

I wish I would have seen this thread two weeks ago. Ordered a Babolat Aero 9 pack to replace my old Head combi (6 pack). I couldn't even fit my stuff from that bag into the Bab one, which is unfortunate as I bought it for MORE space. Needless to say I'm sending it back. It also has minimal organizational space compared to the older Head. It was down to the Bab or the Adidas barricade 6 pack and I think I'll try it out instead. I only carry 3 racquets so for me it's also about space for all my extra stuff. I am also very interested in the Technifibre bags as they appear top notch online. I hear new Head bags are coming out with the new sticks in January. Anyone know if they are different in design from the current models or just new color ways?


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